Rabu, 17 November 2010

1 common parenting mistake

Rewarding negative behaviour!

We all want the best for our children and most of us would not knowingly do things that would make them feel bad or their behaviour worse. While working with children for over 30 years I have noticed very common, universal things that parent’s do that are simply making their children’s behaviour worse. Rewarding Negative behaviour is one of the most common and it is done accidentally or unconsciously most of the time just to get some instant relief from the children’s bad behaviour. Of cause if you just stop to think about it you will see that rewarding negative behaviour is just going to make it more likely to happen again.

What sorts of negative behaviours are getting rewarded?

Making a noise
Showing off
Being demanding
Being cheeky or rude

These are common behaviours and pretty much all children have done them to some degree at one time or another. If children receive some kind of reward or payoff when they do this they will quickly learn that it gets them what they want.

Why do children act this way?

They get the toy they want
They get the attention they want
They get the reaction they want
They don’t have to do something they didn’t want to do
They get the sweets, money or game they wanted
Although children end up getting what they wanted in the short term, in the long run this is very destructive for them because they need to learn better ways to handle themselves. If they learn to ask for what they want in a positive way, it will help them to feel good about themselves and be more confident in their own abilities.

Some things parents are doing to reward negative behaviour?
Smiling at behaviour to pretend it was just a joke,
Giving them affection such as sitting them on your knee and trying to cuddle them out of a tantrum
Talking or trying to reason with them while they are screaming
Trying to placate them while they are crying for something
Giving into them
Not having consequences for disobedient behaviour

Because children will do more of what they get attention for, it is vital that you stop rewarding negative behaviour. Instead you need to use positive methods to encourage good behaviour such as using rules and boundaries and age appropriate consequences. Just by watching out for the times that you do it will help you to stop it, so next time your child’s starts their screaming or arguing, walk away, don’t get drawn into confrontation and stay calm and remember!

Children can’t fight with someone who won’t fight, it’s not worth screaming at someone who won’t listen and what’s the point of having a tantrum if no one is their to see it!!!

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